Tools and tips for making an inventory list, documenting damage to your home, and working with your adjuster.
Unless local officials require so, try not to discard anything before an adjuster has seen it. If you do need to toss things out, remember to snap a photograph of your discarded item. Also, keep samples for the adjuster to see. For example, save a swatch of ruined carpeting to help prepare your repair estimate.
Note: You may have different kinds of insurance covering all the damages from the storm — an auto policy that covers a flooded car, for example — so it is likely you may have to file separate claims for each loss. It’s still a good idea to capture all of these details.
“Any graphic representation of damaged items is helpful. You want to account for every single one of your items,” advises Joseph King of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. “Look for serial numbers, model numbers and any paper receipts (if salvageable). Make 2-3 copies of each receipt, as you’ll need one for the adjuster and for your own records.” If you have have the receipts for damaged items, it will expedite settling your claim.
Tip: You can also set the date stamp on your camera settings. Robert Hunter, director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America, says, “If you later realize you have no pictures when you file a claim, don’t forget that your family likely has pictures of rooms in your house from holidays or other celebrations that can be helpful in re-creating a list of your belongings.”
Some mobile apps can also analyze whether you are under- or over-insured.